Scaffolds and Excavations: When is Close Too Close?

On a construction site we often need to position some workers above the ground and others below. So we often find scaffolds erected near excavations. While no one would intentionally place a scaffold leg on the lip of an excavation both the excavation competent person and the scaffold competent person (yes, both scaffolds and excavations require competent persons) should be able to answer the question: how close is too close? (If you are … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson November 6, 2015
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Trench Cave-Ins: Forces and Effects

How much force can a trench cave-in impart on the human body? And what are the health effects? When we think about the damage that a cave-in can do, we tend to think exclusively in terms of how much soil weighs and how hard it will press on the worker. It's a fairly simple calculation. Take the volume of soil that's fallen, multiply that by the soil weight, and there you have it. But this analysis, although eye-opening, doesn't present … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson May 13, 2015
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Intent of the OSHA Standard: Important or Not?

Understanding the importance of the intent of the OSHA standard. We spend a fair amount of time fielding questions about confined space, fall protection and excavation safety. Most of time people describe a scenario and ask us whether we would consider it safe or compliant. Generally their questions hinge on an activity that is not directly addressed by the OSHA regulations. As a trainer and consultant I rarely tell them that something is … [Read more...]

Jim Johnson July 9, 2014
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